How to Tailor a Maternity Swimsuit to Wear as a Regular Swimsuit

How to Tailor a Maternity Swimsuit to Wear as a Regular Swimsuit

Many of us offer hand-me-down maternity clothes to expecting mothers, but nobody wants used swimwear. Here's how I tailored my maternity swimsuit to sustain its life for more summers post pregnancy.

I purchased this swimsuit at Destination Maternity in 2015. It's a Jessica Simpson tankini. The top doesn't have any ruching on the sides, making alterations simple.  

I wish I had a proper before picture to show you but I avoided most pictures during my pregnancy.  I wasn't looking when my sneaky husband snapped this picture of me. I suppose I should thank him :).  I was 8 months pregnant, playing on the beach with my first son. 


  • Ruler or Tape Measure
  • Fabric Chalk (I used a regular ballpoint pen)
  • Thread
  • Sewing Machine
  • Pins
  • Iron

Step 1:  Fold & Pin Up the Hem

Try on the top and determine how short it should be.  Fold in the hem to the desired length and pin it all around.  It would help to have a friend pin it for you, but I did it myself.

Take your time with this.  I double and triple checked the length to make sure I was comfortable with it.  

Construction 101 -- measure twice, cut once!

Step 2:  Measure & Mark

I measured and marked 1" from the new hem line.

Step 3:  Trim Off Excess Fabric

Cut along the markings from step 2.

Since I pinned the hem myself, my new hemline was crooked. So while the garment was flat on the table, I trimmed it evenly, making the front and back hem match.

Step 4:  Fold & Pin

Fold the hem inward 1/2" once and then 1/2" again.  Then pin it in place.

Step 5:  Try it on

While the pins were horizontal, I carefully tried it on to make sure it was coming out OK.  It didn't seem entirely perfect, so I unpinned and repeated steps 3 to 5.

Step 6:  Iron

Iron the folds to keep it neat.  I carefully pressed around the pins and removed each pin to iron it flat, then pinned it back.

Step 7:  Sew  

With my sewing machine, I kept it simple with a straight stitch along the fold 1/2" from the hem. I tugged on the fabric slightly as it fed into the machine to keep the hemline stretchy.

Step 8:  Enjoy!

Put on your swimsuit, find a pool or beach, grab a margarita and enjoy!

With basic sewing skills, a full time job and two kids, it took me about a week to complete. But if I had the time, attention span and diligence, I think I could have done it in 1-2 hours.

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